Meet Jazzi Goode – the poster girl for total involvement. She’s been a student ambassador, a Bonner Leader, a dorm counselor, an orientation intern and a student worker at the Center for Civic Engagement. She’s also an elementary education major who’s bound to be voted “favorite teacher” by her future students.
Jazzi has an unmistakable zest for life. Combined with her extracurricular experiences and the training she’s had in the Department of Teacher Education, that’s a potent combination for a future educator.
Through her work with the Bonner Leader program, she began volunteering with Wings for Kids – an after-school program established for Title I schools. “I basically taught kids social and emotional learning skills. It was really cool working with them and learning how to plan lessons. Being in Title I schools, working with those kids, was a departure from the kind of schools I attended while growing up. That was a different experience for me, but it convinced me that I’d like to work in this type of school. I want to be in a position to improve the education these kids get.”
Jazzi knows that becoming a teacher isn’t an easy venture. “As an elementary education major, you have a pretty regimented program, and I learned early on how valuable it is to have support from my fellow students – and from my professors. They were very understanding of my other commitments. Each one told me, ‘we’ll work with you.’ But they also wouldn’t accept mediocre coursework from me. For them to be so supportive, I realized that they really care about us and about producing the best teachers possible to send out into the world.”
One of the best classes she’s had, Jazzi says, is her classroom management course. “Our professor didn’t sugarcoat anything. She let us know straight up what we’d be experiencing as teachers. But she also gave us different strategies for handling various situations. For instance, she demanded that we add something special to our lesson plans in order to truly engage our students. She taught us how teachers need to generate ‘student buy-in,’ and then gave us the freedom – and the tools – to determine how we would each achieve that. As a future teacher, discovering a style that works for me is what matters most.”
- Our graduates are actively recruited because they’re superbly well prepared. The structure of our program and the teaching expertise of the faculty who support it – more than 30 professors in all – combine to make ours one of the most respected teacher education programs throughout the Southeast.
- Each elementary education major engages in total of four semesters of fieldwork, gaining invaluable, hands-on experience in actual elementary classrooms.
- Coursework specifically integrated with time spent in the field at elementary schools.
- Faculty and administrators maintain strong partnerships with elementary schools in this region.
- Fieldwork includes experience in diverse school settings.
- Our students’ scores on the PRAXIS II exams are consistently above the state and national averages.
- Our program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Interim Department Chair